When it comes time to look for an electrical contractor, taking a glance at a contractor directory is a great place to begin. However, it should only be your starting point. Based on the firms you locate in the directory, you should be setting up somewhat of an interview to get more information about their experience, cost and more importantly, business practices. Finding out this information upfront can help you determine if the firm is the right fit for your needs.

Staffed Electricians

Depending on the size of the electrical contracting firm, they may have a team of in-house electricians, they might contract out their work or they may use a combination of these two options. Make sure you take the time to find out how the firm staffs their team. Ideally, you want a firm that staffs a team of in-house electricians.

In-house electricians will be subjected to frequent reviews, allowing the firm to better validate their abilities and skills. For contract work, this isn't always the case as this creates a revolving door of electricians that they firm may not be able to accurately monitor or assess.

Permit Pulling

Many municipalities require permits before construction work is performed, including electrical work. When interviewing electrical firms, ask about permit pulling, the process of obtaining a permit. Some firms offer all-inclusive services that obtain the permit on your behalf and even have the work inspected upon completion.

Some firms require the property owner to obtain the permits and schedule the inspection upon completion. If you make the assumption that the firm pulls permits without asking, once the work is completed you could face penalties from your local government for failure to obtain the necessary permits.

Workers' Compensation

It's also important to inquire about the existence of a worker's compensation policy. It's one thing for the firm to have insurance coverage to cover the cost of any unlikely damage to your property; however, you also want to ensure they carry their own coverage in the event of an injury to a worker.

Even the most skilled electrician can injure themselves on the job. While many larger firms hold worker's compensation policies, some smaller firms don't. If the firm doesn't have this coverage, in the event of an injury, the injured contractor could go after your homeowner's insurance policy.

Make sure you're using the contractor directory as your first step on the path to finding the right contracting firm for your needs. Contact a company like One Stop Construction Resources or another location for more info and tips.